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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
Luminary because the millennium group would not help frank and cut hime off while he was trying to find someone in need of help

Yes, I agree, that was a frustrating aspect of the episode. It was nice to see Frank strike out on his own anyway, and then to see Peter making the trip out to try to help Frank, without the support of the group. I kind of miss that time period where Frank and Peter were on more friendly terms.

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don’t want to step on any toes or anything, but wow. reading some of our reactions, especially those so eloquently laid out by ModernDayMoriarty, have opened my eyes and made me all the more appreciative of the diversity of fans’ reactions. there are some points i’d argue if I weren’t so tired, but i am so here’s this:

i would have to say the innocents makes me a little mad, because of how much of the previous season is left completely untouched. i understand that this is a result of having to sweep up after m&w, but once those eps (T4H/TTIN) were written and were filmed and were canon, it bugs me that instead of wrapping up *some* of the dangling threads they just started a whole new tapestry.

anamnesis annoys me too because it feels so unnecessary. while I find the interaction between Lara and Peter interesting, sending Catherine on a case seems a bit perfunctory. not only does it not help her understand the Group any better, it inserted this odd little bit about the family that is never even approached with a 10-foot-pole again.

and i agree with the had-the-potential; coulda-been-better assessment given to HOSS, …Thirteen, and submit to the list Omerta (and not only because 85% of the action occurred offscreen).

then the content of some episodes made me annoyed, if not mad. The Well-Worn Lock, Broken World, Beware of the Dog, A Room With No View. but wasn’t that part of the point of MM, to provoke, to make you uncomfortable, and make you think?

but that’s the great thing about MM; as others have stated, while we may have an ep or two we utterly dread, our collection of favourites and those we dislike are rarely to never the same. and i for one, love it as a (more or less) coherent whole.

- nothing who wishes to neither offend nor bash, and hasn’t seen a single MM ep in a while being oh so separated from her disks, and whose only cinema and media studies class was in, and thus focused solely on, another country. i also realize i’m rather picky and happen to want the one thing we don’t get in any particular episode…

believes...

this is who we are

we can't just sit back and hope for a happy ending

i couldn't swear it wasn't just an incredibly realistic simulation. not just the scenery, my whole life.

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Guest ModernDayMoriarty

Okay, let's have it right now. I stated very clearly that I respect the opinions of people who like Season 2. There is a difference to thinking Season went down the wrong tracks, and having no respect for those who think it didn't.

The main point has already been amply made: Season 2 gets much appreciation here, because this is a format most likely to attract S2 fans. It is only right however, that fans of the other seasons (and the series as a whole) get to have their say. There are certainly no shortage of posts, threads and sites on the internet claiming that S3 was terrible, shouldn't have been made etc etc.

I did not, and never would say that Morgan and Wong had no merit. I was always a big admirer of their early work on 'The X-Files' (although not their S4 episodes). I think they made the correct decision to leave Millennium the first time, because it clearly wasn't working for them. Of their S1 episodes, only 'Dead Letters' stands up to close scutiny in my opinion, and even that has its detractors because people (rightly) say that the villain is very 2-D and poorly written.

Now the response to that is that the killer clearly isn't the focus in 'Dead Letters'. What is of greater concern is that it exposes for anyone who was in any doubt that despite the excellent qualities they did possess, writing about evil just wasn't for them. They soften the blow too much.

But, and I've said this many times, I was abolsutely thrilled when at the end of 'The Beginning and the End', their names came up as Executive Producers. They were at this time, amongst my favourite science fiction writers. After watching 'TBATE' and 'BOTD', I wasn't sure I liked this new direction, but after repeated viewings, I saw the benefit of opening out the show, and was very enthused about the future of MLM.

Now I think I must defend my critical analysis view here, because based on the surface, I didn't much enjoy said episodes. They seemed vague, overly jokey at times and very of keeping with S1. It was only when I started dissecting them and getting at what they meant in each episode. M+W changed the Stalker storyline and altered history established in 'Gehenna'. I found it confusing, but I was willing to work to understand it.

And please, don't say that I trash all of Season Two. I meant it when I said that the Season started well. 'The Beginning and the End', 'Beware of the Dog' and 'Sense and Antisense' are three great episodes to kick off. Once you know what you looking for, you can appreciate those episodes, rather than complain about how they seem wrong, or like X-Files.

But then it goes badly wrong. The punch and the power that S1's portrayals of evil had, are lost due to writers like Maher/Reindl, Morgan and Wong, not being suited to write about them. The reality of the show is not sustained, because too many episodes are offbeat (Darin Morgan) or dreamy (the above wrting partnerships). I would like to underscore in no uncertain terms, that it is not hatred I feel towards Season Two, more a deep sense of disappointment and wasted opportunity. You can't fail to be disapointed when people of high talent are involved and don't deliver how you not only expected, but dearly wanted them to.

Morgan and Wong were important writers for The X-Files, but the show survived and evolved long after they left. Because people respond to reality, that which seems familiar and relevant to them. Chris Carter knew this and played to this. BUT, many think that after they left, the show was never quite as good as it had been. Carter has himself admitted that he never really found someone to replace the dreamy 'heart' that M+W brought to the X-Files Mythology, and I think that is broadly speaking true. (Vince Gilligan would be the closest, but he more at home with standalones).

In S2 Millennium, there is far too much weighting to that dreamy style. It isn't a crime to admit that there are holes in your writing style. Some writers just do a better job on certain areas. It's not like Chris Carter for example, was any less arty in his writing than M+W. He simply had a talent for taking his vision of the world and making it seem real. But writers like M+W had more appreciation for science fiction, and the expectations of its fans. They had a more optimistic, romantic view of the world.

Just look at the evidence. Season 2 Millennium (first season without Carter, despite what the credits claim) and Season 3 X-Files (first full season without M+W). Millennium loses the doomy realism and the visceral horror, whereas The X-Files under the hands of Howard '24' Gordon and Chris Carter plunged into bleakness and violence (it is the coldest, most pitiless of all the X-Files seasons by a long way).

I think Carter has been more than big about the vacuum that M+W left, and is one of the few writers to try and soften his punches in the MLM S3 documentary. He was clearly disspointed, and speaks of feeling unable to work with what they left him. But he is careful also to praise their opening up of the show, and remind everyone of their talent.

If I criticised Morgan and Wong, it was strictly as Season Producers and not as writers. They made bad decisions in not hiring better staff, not integrating other staff more and not farming out scripts to people who could do them better justice.

Episodes like 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian' are a case in point. I don't dispute that Terry Quinn deserved an episode that explored his character's new facets more deeply. Watch Season One, and you'll see that there is plenty of work on him already if you're prepared to look. In Season One, they establish how he is some sort of 'handler' for Frank, who comes to defy his organisation through a growing respect for Frank's abiltities.

We'll never really know exactly where that was going, because Carter and Mann leave before it is revealed. But look closely and you see that the Group employ various strategies against Frank, all designed to open him up to the possibilties of there being an actual Doomsday, true Evil etc. Most significant of all being the relationship with Peter, where he slowly works into Frank's trust, never asking too much too soon, until Frank begins calling him for help.

So in Season Two, it was natural that that relationship had to evolve. M+W make definate decisions over what the Group are like (and the evidence from Season One suggest that Carter always had something like this in mind, just not as sci-fi with people who can see glowing angels etc). All the parties have been tight lipped about what exactly the Group were going to be like, but I think the S3 portrayal is a good indicator.

So what's the problem with 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian'? Well, I'm not going to go over it all again, as I've done it before. My main bone of contention is that for a Peter Watts episode, it is a wasted opportunity. The groundwork for his unease over the Group's actitivies should have been better prepared. Ideally, an episode where he and Frank fall out over strategy would have been the thing.

Because whilst we see Frank's growing distrust of this new side of the Group, we don't really get any sense of Peter's unease with it up to this point (the kitchen talk in 'TBATE' is pretty much the only clue). So this quest seems pretty out of the blue, given his enthusiastic support of the Group in this Season (his more surly tone and even apparently hostile attitude to Frank sometimes, confused and dismayed many fans).

And even then, the episode is such a waste. Season One questioned how much his friendship with Frank was affecting his attitude to the Group. This should have been a fascinating episode, because he needs both ends of the spectrum. He wants to believe in the Group, but needs proof. He can only get that proof by using Frank's skills to help him.

But what should have been an episode where we learn more about Peter, about how he feels about using Frank for his own advancement in the Group (it is heavily implied in several episodes that Peter is worried that Frank's lack of development reflects badly on him as a teacher). It was a good opportunity for Frank to take him to task, make a more forceful denunication of the whole Hand nonsense (and thus provoke a similarly strong defence from Peter etc).

But all we get are ham acting Nazis, online sex chats and some extremely silly plot twists. Scenes like I describe above are all that save episodes like 'Owls/Roosters' and 'The Fourth Horseman/Time is Now' from being utterly terrible. To miss them out in an episode that actually had a decent idea behind it is criminal. ('Luminary' is a very similar episode, and shows how it should be done, but then Chip J is the best writer for Peter's character anyway).

But aside from the poor execution of many Season 2 episodes, that doesn't mean I consider M+W to be bad writers. Again, I think they simply try to take on too much, and miss the advice of people who can make them think again about what they are doing. The X-Files always had several Executive producers, to boucne around ideas. They don't have this, and so their ideas go unchecked.

People can say what they like, but the end of Season Two is just unacceptable. They clearly didn't intend for the show to go any further and didn't think how people could make anything of it if it did. Season Three had a responsiblity to try and resurrect the show, reestablish the reality of the thing. Frank's delicate mental state provides a very viable medium for explaining away the problem areas of Season Two, and I for one do not blame them for using it.

There are several episodes that I like from Season Two, and I respect many of the ideas if not the execution. They are still heroes for their work on The X-Files, but as producers of a series, they didn't manage their time, didn't manage their staff and didn't manage their own visual/stylistic excesses.

This is how I feel on the matter, and as Zeus, 4th HM etc have said, we have been saying as much for years now. What we may lack in numbers here, we have tried to make up for with sober consideration of the source material. People have refuted our claims and that's fine - everyone has an opinion. But please understand that neither I, Zeus, anyone is under any obligation to stand idly by when M+W are praised to the high heavens and S3 (and more shamefully its hardworking writers and actors) are dragged over the coals.

Just because someone has written good work in the past, doesn't mean everything they do is great. The cartoony Odessa and the supposedly fearsome and vicious inmates of the hospital in 'The Pest House' (who actually seem like a hapless bunch of jovial geeks), show that Morgan and Wong just don't look at the world in the same way Chris Carter does for example. They don't see evil and corruption, they see tragedy and whimsy, underdog heroes and adventure. They got sucked into the joyous myth of the Group as surely as any Sci-Fi fans. One look at 'Skull and Bones' from S3 though and you can't help but think 'How do you like them now?'

Oh, and hello to everybody, new and old! It's nice to be back, somewhat awkward because of this misunderstanding, but as Frank says 'I think we can all just get along'!

Edited by ModernDayMoriarty
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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
Okay, let's have it right now. I stated very clearly that I respect the opinions of people who like Season 2. There is a difference to thinking Season went down the wrong tracks, and having no respect for those who think it didn't.

The main point has already been amply made: Season 2 gets much appreciation here, because this is a format most likely to attract S2 fans. It is only right however, that fans of the other seasons (and the series as a whole) get to have their say. There are certainly no shortage of posts, threads and sites on the internet claiming that S3 was terrible, shouldn't have been made etc etc.

I did not, and never would say that Morgan and Wong had no merit. I was always a big admirer of their early work on 'The X-Files' (although not their S4 episodes). I think they made the correct decision to leave Millennium the first time, because it clearly wasn't working for them. Of their S1 episodes, only 'Dead Letters' stands up to close scutiny in my opinion, and even that has its detractors because people (rightly) say that the villain is very 2-D and poorly written.

Now the response to that is that the killer clearly isn't the focus in 'Dead Letters'. What is of greater concern is that it exposes for anyone who was in any doubt that despite the excellent qualities they did possess, writing about evil just wasn't for them. They soften the blow too much.

But, and I've said this many times, I was abolsutely thrilled when at the end of 'The Beginning and the End', their names came up as Executive Producers. They were at this time, amongst my favourite science fiction writers. After watching 'TBATE' and 'BOTD', I wasn't sure I liked this new direction, but after repeated viewings, I saw the benefit of opening out the show, and was very enthused about the future of MLM.

Now I think I must defend my critical analysis view here, because based on the surface, I didn't much enjoy said episodes. They seemed vague, overly jokey at times and very of keeping with S1. It was only when I started dissecting them and getting at what they meant in each episode. M+W changed the Stalker storyline and altered history established in 'Gehenna'. I found it confusing, but I was willing to work to understand it.

And please, don't say that I trash all of Season Two. I meant it when I said that the Season started well. 'The Beginning and the End', 'Beware of the Dog' and 'Sense and Antisense' are three great episodes to kick off. Once you know what you looking for, you can appreciate those episodes, rather than complain about how they seem wrong, or like X-Files.

But then it goes badly wrong. The punch and the power that S1's portrayals of evil had, are lost due to writers like Maher/Reindl, Morgan and Wong, not being suited to write about them. The reality of the show is not sustained, because too many episodes are offbeat (Darin Morgan) or dreamy (the above wrting partnerships). I would like to underscore in no uncertain terms, that it is not hatred I feel towards Season Two, more a deep sense of disappointment and wasted opportunity. You can't fail to be disapointed when people of high talent are involved and don't deliver how you not only expected, but dearly wanted them to.

Morgan and Wong were important writers for The X-Files, but the show survived and evolved long after they left. Because people respond to reality, that which seems familiar and relevant to them. Chris Carter knew this and played to this. BUT, many think that after they left, the show was never quite as good as it had been. Carter has himself admitted that he never really found someone to replace the dreamy 'heart' that M+W brought to the X-Files Mythology, and I think that is broadly speaking true. (Vince Gilligan would be the closest, but he more at home with standalones).

In S2 Millennium, there is far too much weighting to that dreamy style. It isn't a crime to admit that there are holes in your writing style. Some writers just do a better job on certain areas. It's not like Chris Carter for example, was any less arty in his writing than M+W. He simply had a talent for taking his vision of the world and making it seem real. But writers like M+W had more appreciation for science fiction, and the expectations of its fans. They had a more optimistic, romantic view of the world.

Just look at the evidence. Season 2 Millennium (first season without Carter, despite what the credits claim) and Season 3 X-Files (first full season without M+W). Millennium loses the doomy realism and the visceral horror, whereas The X-Files under the hands of Howard '24' Gordon and Chris Carter plunged into bleakness and violence (it is the coldest, most pitiless of all the X-Files seasons by a long way).

I think Carter has been more than big about the vacuum that M+W left, and is one of the few writers to try and soften his punches in the MLM S3 documentary. He was clearly disspointed, and speaks of feeling unable to work with what they left him. But he is careful also to praise their opening up of the show, and remind everyone of their talent.

If I criticised Morgan and Wong, it was strictly as Season Producers and not as writers. They made bad decisions in not hiring better staff, not integrating other staff more and not farming out scripts to people who could do them better justice.

Episodes like 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian' are a case in point. I don't dispute that Terry Quinn deserved an episode that explored his character's new facets more deeply. Watch Season One, and you'll see that there is plenty of work on him already if you're prepared to look. In Season One, they establish how he is some sort of 'handler' for Frank, who comes to defy his organisation through a growing respect for Frank's abiltities.

We'll never really know exactly where that was going, because Carter and Mann leave before it is revealed. But look closely and you see that the Group employ various strategies against Frank, all designed to open him up to the possibilties of there being an actual Doomsday, true Evil etc. Most significant of all being the relationship with Peter, where he slowly works into Frank's trust, never asking too much too soon, until Frank begins calling him for help.

So in Season Two, it was natural that that relationship had to evolve. M+W make definate decisions over what the Group are like (and the evidence from Season One suggest that Carter always had something like this in mind, just not as sci-fi with people who can see glowing angels etc). All the parties have been tight lipped about what exactly the Group were going to be like, but I think the S3 portrayal is a good indicator.

So what's the problem with 'The Hand of Saint Sebastian'? Well, I'm not going to go over it all again, as I've done it before. My main bone of contention is that for a Peter Watts episode, it is a wasted opportunity. The groundwork for his unease over the Group's actitivies should have been better prepared. Ideally, an episode where he and Frank fall out over strategy would have been the thing.

Because whilst we see Frank's growing distrust of this new side of the Group, we don't really get any sense of Peter's unease with it up to this point (the kitchen talk in 'TBATE' is pretty much the only clue). So this quest seems pretty out of the blue, given his enthusiastic support of the Group in this Season (his more surly tone and even apparently hostile attitude to Frank sometimes, confused and dismayed many fans).

And even then, the episode is such a waste. Season One questioned how much his friendship with Frank was affecting his attitude to the Group. This should have been a fascinating episode, because he needs both ends of the spectrum. He wants to believe in the Group, but needs proof. He can only get that proof by using Frank's skills to help him.

But what should have been an episode where we learn more about Peter, about how he feels about using Frank for his own advancement in the Group (it is heavily implied in several episodes that Peter is worried that Frank's lack of development reflects badly on him as a teacher). It was a good opportunity for Frank to take him to task, make a more forceful denunication of the whole Hand nonsense (and thus provoke a similarly strong defence from Peter etc).

But all we get are ham acting Nazis, online sex chats and some extremely silly plot twists. Scenes like I describe above are all that save episodes like 'Owls/Roosters' and 'The Fourth Horseman/Time is Now' from being utterly terrible. To miss them out in an episode that actually had a decent idea behind it is criminal. ('Luminary' is a very similar episode, and shows how it should be done, but then Chip J is the best writer for Peter's character anyway).

But aside from the poor execution of many Season 2 episodes, that doesn't mean I consider M+W to be bad writers. Again, I think they simply try to take on too much, and miss the advice of people who can make them think again about what they are doing. The X-Files always had several Executive producers, to boucne around ideas. They don't have this, and so their ideas go unchecked.

People can say what they like, but the end of Season Two is just unacceptable. They clearly didn't intend for the show to go any further and didn't think how people could make anything of it if it did. Season Three had a responsiblity to try and resurrect the show, reestablish the reality of the thing. Frank's delicate mental state provides a very viable medium for explaining away the problem areas of Season Two, and I for one do not blame them for using it.

There are several episodes that I like from Season Two, and I respect many of the ideas if not the execution. They are still heroes for their work on The X-Files, but as producers of a series, they didn't manage their time, didn't manage their staff and didn't manage their own visual/stylistic excesses.

This is how I feel on the matter, and as Zeus, 4th HM etc have said, we have been saying as much for years now. What we may lack in numbers here, we have tried to make up for with sober consideration of the source material. People have refuted our claims and that's fine - everyone has an opinion. But please understand that neither I, Zeus, anyone is under any obligation to stand idly by when M+W are praised to the high heavens and S3 (and more shamefully its hardworking writers and actors) are dragged over the coals.

Just because someone has written good work in the past, doesn't mean everything they do is great. The cartoony Odessa and the supposedly fearsome and vicious inmates of the hospital in 'The Pest House' (who actually seem like a hapless bunch of jovial geeks), show that Morgan and Wong just don't look at the world in the same way Chris Carter does for example. They don't see evil and corruption, they see tragedy and whimsy, underdog heroes and adventure. They got sucked into the joyous myth of the Group as surely as any Sci-Fi fans. One look at 'Skull and Bones' from S3 though and you can't help but think 'How do you like them now?'

Oh, and hello to everybody, new and old! It's nice to be back, somewhat awkward because of this misunderstanding, but as Frank says 'I think we can all just get along'!

I think this is a much more restrained version of your previous posts and offers only opinions, instead of claims about Morgan and Wong that I don't agree are fair. I think our views now boil down to a matter of simple disagreement on personal preference. For example, as I have said before, I think that Morgan and Wong were going for a certain feel in Hand Of Saint Sebastian, and what might be viewed by some as poor writing is viewed by myself as a certain style they were going for and achieved. They have proven many times in the past that they can write in a very realistic manner with very dark and realistic characters, for example, in Thin White Line. To you, it is obviously a miserable failure, but to me, it was a very entertaining, light and satisfying episode, as well as being brilliantly written.

I can say, however, that I knew a few very casual viewers who were still very into the show in S2, and started to lose interest in season three, and it didn't have anything to do with the ending of season 2. Personally, I love season 3, and enjoy it more and more each time I watch it, but when one discusses the problem of leaving the average viewer in total bewilderment, I think S3 goes there just as much as S2, if not more. For example, how many people do you think were saying "What in the heck is this" during "Seven and One" when Emma meets herself in the house and watches herself shoot herself while Frank is trapped in a flooding room and then, suddenly, the water is gone, Frank is dry, and Emma's twin is gone. We also have 13 Years Later, which has nothing to do with much of anything, and could easily be categorized as "silly". This, to me, seems to be a confirmation that episodes like "Satan Got Behind Me" and "Jose Chung" worked in S2 and attempted again in S3. You mention in a previous post that these episodes were an indulgence of a family member. I'm not going to say that you were implying that Darin Morgan didn't have the credentials to write on the show if he wasn't Glenn's brother, but the fact that "Jose Chung" got an Emmy nomination and that I have heard almost all positive raves about the episode, go to show that it was actually a good decision by M & W, not a poor one. I have also heard many raves about "Satan Got Behind Me", and frequently here from people who list it as a favorite episode, or one that stuck in their mind and rekindled interest later with the DVDs. Oh, and by the way, I would be greatly appreciative if anyone here can provide Neilson or other accurate viewer ratings of the show for each season. I had always believed that the ratings for season two were enough to get the series another year, but saging S3 ratings finally doomed the show. I have done a Google search, but I can't seem to track down archived ratings of the show.

I know it is only your opinion, but comments about Morgan and Wong not managing their staff, time, etc, leave me scratching my head, because I think S2 has a perfect blend of episodes and moves along wonderfully, right up to a brilliant two part ending. I still don't understand why people say that they left S3 writers with no options. I think they easily accounted for the end of S2 in S3. Furthermore, I think we have seen many times that the audience is willing to provide a lot of latitude when it comes to resurrected or miraculously saved characters, and I would argue that Catherine could even have easily been saved if S3 writers so desired. We were told during S2 that the virus has shown up and disappeared in the past, so I don't see it as that much of a stretch for S3 writers to simply tell us that the virus was contained and the world didn't end. This is more or less what they did, and I don't regard this strategy as rocket science or brilliantly conceived.

As for the statement that S2 is loved here because of its format, I can't subscribe to this line of thinking. From my experience, S2 was a season that most casual viewers I knew were still enjoying. It wasn't until S3 that people I knew were starting to jump ship. Also, everyone I know is on the Internet these days and could easily find a web page like this one and register a membership if so inspired. While I respect your theory, I just simply don't buy into it. Just a simple matter of disagreement. I have heard many people talk about how great S1 was, as well as S3, but, from what I have seen and heard, here and elsewhere, S3, unfortunately was universally regarded as the least favorite. I don't think this is tied to this format at all. I think it is a much more general consensus.

Maybe I am misunderstanding, are you saying that Morgan and Wong left after S2 because it wasn't working for them? I highly doubt that they thought it wasn't working for them. I would suspect that they view it as a great achievement. They were under contract for a single season, and clearly left to pursue other interests, such as films and other series. I think "Dead Letters" is not only brilliantly written, but I would argue that "The Thin White Line" features a very complex killer in Hance. Also, 522666 holds up to scrutiny very well. I guess I can't produce proof of this, other than to say that it gets a high rank from the Abyss, and if you don't regard the Abyss highly, I have heard mostly good things about it. I also don't see how they "softened the blow" in either of these episodes. Just my two cents, of course, and I guess one has to keep in mind that I think S2 was the greatest season of any show ever. By the way, I apologize if my response is jumbled. I still can't figure out how to quote and respond to separate statements, so I have to try to respond to posts as a whole. PS, I also still don't see how the change in writers between S1 and S2 can be categorized as an exodus (def. mass departure) when Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz were leaving all along, and other than Ted Mann, we only see 3 writers, each of whom wrote one or two episodes, depart. I don't see it as surprising that M & W would want to select a writing staff after being given control of the helm. Erin Maher and Reindl might not have a 100% approval rating here, but episodes that you have listed as poor, such as "Midnight of the Century" are in many cases favorites of members here. I have no way of rating their overall approval, outside this board, but I think this episode is one of the highlights of S2, as well as the entire series, and it has ranked very high in polls here as well as in the Abyss ratings. Again, it boils down to opinion, but what is regarded by some as an exodus of writers that left a gaping hole, is regarded by myself and others as normal turnover, and Morgan and Wong doing a brilliant job of selecting talented writers.

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Guest ZeusFaber
from what I have seen and heard, here and elsewhere, S3, unfortunately was universally regarded as the least favorite. I don't think this is tied to this format at all. I think it is a much more general consensus.

I will leave the majority of your debate between the two of you, but on this point I must step in. It cannot be said that any season is universally regarded as the best or worst. As we see from this very thread, there is clear difference of opinion between several of us, so that immediately proves that there is no universal reaction.

Also, the idea of a general consensus is also a false one. There is no consensus. Again, the existence of these very debates proves that. The fact that we all know very well that there are hundreds if not thousands of posts on this subject over time also underscores that it is a hugely divisive and contentious issue that elicits no form of agreement.

You talk about a weight of numbers and polls and the majority of TIWWA members and such like, but really I think this is all irrelevant. It's not an election or a competition. Every viewer has their own reaction and their reasons for it. Counting up the numbers in each camp wont change that, and as we have seen, no one is alone.

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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
I will leave the majority of your debate between the two of you, but on this point I must step in. It cannot be said that any season is universally regarded as the best or worst. As we see from this very thread, there is clear difference of opinion between several of us, so that immediately proves that there is no universal reaction.

Also, the idea of a general consensus is also a false one. There is no consensus. Again, the existence of these very debates proves that. The fact that we all know very well that there are hundreds if not thousands of posts on this subject over time also underscores that it is a hugely divisive and contentious issue that elicits no form of agreement.

You talk about a weight of numbers and polls and the majority of TIWWA members and such like, but really I think this is all irrelevant. It's not an election or a competition. Every viewer has their own reaction and their reasons for it. Counting up the numbers in each camp wont change that, and as we have seen, no one is alone.

Again, it boils down to opinion. "Consensus" can be defined as a "general agreement" or "judgement arrived at by most of those concerned" as well as "Does not imply total agreement or unanimous assent". All evidence I have experienced would lead me to the opinion that this is the case here, as well as among casual viewers I have discussed the series with. In my experience, "most" of the people I have talked to and "most" of the polls or opinion forums I have read here would indicate that "most" of the people involved have chosen S1 or S2 as their favorite. Maybe my understanding of the word is different than others, but to me, consensus is more or less saying the majority, and I think it's fair to say that most people like S1 or S2. There can be a consensus, even when there are individuals among the group that do not agree. That is the very definition of the word. Otherwise, I would have said that there is a unanimous agreement. Regardless, I wasn't using this point to prove which season is better. I was using it to make the point that, as far as I am concerned, there is no validity to the theory that S2 is so highly regarded here because of this particular format, and the implied idea that this forum isn't a representation of your average or casual fan. Even if this was the case, which would go against everything I have read or discussed, I don't see how the theory could be proven. If someone does have data to support the theory, I'm all ears. PS, don't get me wrong, I love season 3. My opinion of S3 as evolved into placing it right up there with S1 and S2, although still clearly third. If you don't think the term consensus is fair, I gladly retract it and replace it with "general majority".

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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
I will leave the majority of your debate between the two of you, but on this point I must step in. It cannot be said that any season is universally regarded as the best or worst. As we see from this very thread, there is clear difference of opinion between several of us, so that immediately proves that there is no universal reaction.

Also, the idea of a general consensus is also a false one. There is no consensus. Again, the existence of these very debates proves that. The fact that we all know very well that there are hundreds if not thousands of posts on this subject over time also underscores that it is a hugely divisive and contentious issue that elicits no form of agreement.

You talk about a weight of numbers and polls and the majority of TIWWA members and such like, but really I think this is all irrelevant. It's not an election or a competition. Every viewer has their own reaction and their reasons for it. Counting up the numbers in each camp wont change that, and as we have seen, no one is alone.

PS, when I say universally, I don't mean that everyone agrees, I mean that it, in my opinion, from what I have read, covers all groups, including casual fans, internet fans and fans here. Again, this is just an opinion based on my own personal experience. From the casual viewers I have talked to, there is no indication that they disliked S2 at all. Of course, I guess it has to be said that I haven't talked to a huge number of people about the series, but in almost all cases, the interest in the show started to taper at some point in S3, and I often talked to people who said they weren't watching anymore by the end of S3. Also, when you discuss the issue of people being bewildered or not "getting it", the period of time where I found this to be the main complaint among casual viewers was the final third of S3, when we see episodes that are hard to follow or understand, such as "Saturn Dreaming of Mercury", "Bardo Thodol", "Seven and One, and a few others to some extent. This is the time where my Step Mom, who was one of the viewers who stayed loyal to the show all the way through, finally kind of fizzled out on the series, and she is a pretty sophisticated viewer. Personally, I still enjoyed these episodes, and it gave me a lot to chew on and contemplate.

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Guest ein042

I don’t know that it made me mad, but GTAT may have suffered from the same frustration that plagued M&W in writing for a cancelled show. So much of it used elements from other movies that I guess could be construed as ’tribute’ but left me with the feeling that the creativity was gone.

I thought season 2 was inspired and whatever was behind the scenes between the creators shouldn’t have let it affect the idea of the show no matter how it evolved.

I can’t stand in their shoes and judge how I would have reacted. Writing is a difficult thing, disciplined writing.

All the seasons remain memorable to me and I doubt anyone here is so single minded that they can appreciate only one genre.

“ But then it goes badly wrong. The punch and the power that S1's portrayals of evil had, are lost due to writers like Maher/Reindl, Morgan and Wong, not being suited to write about them. The reality of the show is not sustained, because too many episodes are offbeat (Darin Morgan) or dreamy (the above wrting partnerships). I would like to underscore in no uncertain terms, that it is not hatred I feel towards Season Two, more a deep sense of disappointment and wasted opportunity. You can't fail to be disapointed when people of high talent are involved and don't deliver how you not only expected, but dearly wanted them to.”

Maybe Carter wasn’t clear on what he wanted. He may do a series one day when he can retain control and branch off from the reputation of X Files if that’s his intention. That doesn’t mean the work these people produced wasn’t important, imaginative and influential.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ModernDayMoriarty

Sorry, it's been a while. I intend to be quite blunt about what I think this time. Please understand that it is only because I care about this show so much.

You seem unable to accept that because I didn't think it was the best, and incredibly wonderful, that I don't like it at all. That's wrong, and I said as much before. I was disapointed with how it veered into mediocrity, and it's a genuine sadness because I certainly didn't want to see that happen, or see Morgan and Wong become so bitter about it all.

I like to think I make informed judgements. I examine the evidence and give my findings. You claim that Season Two has some kind of mandate, yet I have already discussed the reasons why this should be not be taken at face value. The media critics (and by this I mean critics from mainstream papers and magazines - not science fiction magazines), greeted Millennium's third season as a step in the right direction after the craziness of season two (there is some evidence of this on the Millennial Abyss I believe).

The series failed commercially, and Season Two performed worst of all, robbing the series of its Season One core base. This is not disputed by the writers - I don't understand why you are disputing it. Regardless of whether you liked S2 or not, it destablised the show by changing what the show was. The same critical sources I mentioned above, also made the point at the time of S3, that despite the better direction, it was not not winning back (note winning *back*) viewers to the series.

I wish to point out again, that as Zeus said, this is not a 'my season is better than your season' fight. My personal gripes about Season Two aside, it was the effect it had on the show as a whole, and a failure to build on some great promise that irked me most. The reletive success of each season is merely a tool to show the displeasure and the harm it caused to Millennium when Morgan and Wong changed it.

You say that Morgan and Wong had proved themselves capable to writing realism, evil etc. You mentioned 'The Thin White Line'? Is that supposed to be some sort of joke? That episode more than any really, demonstrated their inability to write on such themes. There is no sense of beastial rage, no sense of evil, because they humanise and sympathise with the enemy (hence the ending). They did the same thing in 'Beyond the Sea' in The X-Files. Great story there, but Boggs has no hint of evil about him, because theat is not what they are comfortable exploring.

I'm sorry, but I got into Millennium by absorbing the fierce world on S1. To then produce cartoon nazis (and I'm sorry again, but THOSS and Owls/Roosters are so far from being realistic...), it shook my faith in the show, because as Lance Henriksen himself put it 'This wasn't what I signed up for'.

As to S3 'easily' dealing with the plague... are you serious?! The majority of Season Two fans (Morgan and Wong included) decried them for how they fixed it. It has been a long, arduous struggle these years to convince people that they did indeed do a great job fixing and carrying on from what was (and this has been admitted!) made with the intention of being the end of the series.

On the subject of Darin Morgan - we really don't want to go down that road again. Just do a search, because we've covered him in great detail many times. Suffice to say, I consider him to be, like his brother, an interesting but self indulgent writer. He was mortified when 'Jose Chung's' was the lowest rated episode of the season (yes, that's right, it was the lowest ranked by the time it aired). But he shouldn't have expected anything more. His episodes are curiosities that like 'Thirteen Years...' and 'Omerta', are easier to watch now because we can skip to them on DVD. When the series was airing, people felt (justifiably in my opinion) that such episodes were an episode wasted, and they voted with their feet.

A quick search on the Internet should reveal (if they haven't been taken down by now), the interviews that Morgan and Wong gave at various stages of the show. They clearly describe their problems with Milennium after they leave (the first time) and revisit them just before they start season 2 (saying how they will do it differently). They are also on record as being mightily teed off with Millennium by the end of Season Two. I think they were proud of it, but had nothing to show for it. The season had bombed and the studio treated them like dirt for their failure. There also seems to be some bad blood between them and Carter now (it's never been adquately explained, but it seemed to brew from their second stint on The X-Files, and simmered away until the end of Millennium, when they parted ways with 1013.) They refused to be part of the S2 documentary, and the comments they made about Season 3 were very uncharitable (thus the reason presumably, why the writers felt no need to sugar coat their rebuttals in the S3 documentary).

As to Maher and Reindl... well again I disagree strongly. Maher and Renidl make extremely melodramtic episodes. This kind of thing never goes well with us Brits, and when it's done badly (as I believe it was), it just compounds the issue. I cannot stand 'Midnight of the Century' and 'Annamesis'. And again, I don't really want to go into this again, because it's all come up before.

I stand by my assertions that this show is about Frank Black and his inner and outer demons. To stray too far from that is to stray from the show's purpose. But his relationship with Peter and Peter's connection to the Group at large was a very significant thread in Season One. Chip J tries to pursue it in Season Two, but gets no help. Chip J's episodes show the Group terrorising Frank, using him and the extent to which Peter is going along with this, using Frank for his own advancement and fearing that Frank's failure will look bad for him as Patron.

We needed to see it through Frank's eyes, and Peter actions/reactions. We learned what kind of people the Group were through this kind of interaction. M+W spoil this carefully plotted thread by bringing it out into the open far too much. Instead of seeing Peter nervously conducting Frank to his Interview in 'Luminary' (a short scene which I could write a whole book about), they have scenes where Peter starts saying 'The Group is Good, we must do what they say' and then have later speeches on how he is dismayed at what he has done to Frank.

No, no, no! The whole reason for hiring a guy like Terry O Quinn is because you never know where you stand with him (or never should anyway). They did the exact same thing in Lost. He has bullt a career on playing 'Nice guys with an edge'. You should never really know where his loyalties lie, should have to delve and wonder. M+W split it up too cleanly, they ruin the conflict that S1 and Chip J episode Watts went through every time he was with Frank. In M+W episodes, Peter is one or the other, pro group or pro Frank. It's painful to watch sometimes (In TBATE for instance where he is pro frank at the kitchen meeting, and pro Group in the morning).

This is only one example (and I have a million more) of ways in which Morgan and Wong took and changed the show I knew and loved into something else. I'm not disputing that they were gifted science fiction writers, but they were not Gods and couldn't (and shouldn't have thought they could) go it alone. Maher and Reindl were practically first time writers (I rememebr they had very little experience indeed), and Darin Morgan by his own and others admission, did his own thing. They did not understand certain aspects of the show, they outright disagreed with some and cut them altogether or as much as they could.

I maintain that they had no business doing that. It was as Chip J mused, disrespectful to the fans of Millennium. I wanted to see them develop the show we had, not change it into a different one. And neither id the majority of the S1 and S3 writers, neither did the public by the ratings.

You love Season Two passionately. That's clear. But I love Millennium passionately. I could forgive all of the mistakes, all of the ratings drops, I could put it down to simply having different tastes to M+W. But their attitude in trying to kill the series - and they have said as much, so please don't waste my time by denying it - their petulance at taking their ball and going home, leaving the show for dead... how can you ask me to forgive that? How can you ask me to forgive taking a series with a definate direction and tone, and changing it over the objections of the S1 staff and S1 fans? And then to mock the S3 staff from afar...

I can't forgive them. I know they don't care....

That's the point.

Edited by ModernDayMoriarty
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